Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Five Stages of Downsizing: Angerrrrrrrrr

If you're just tuning in, I lost my job last week. That means I have plenty of time to sit here and think about ways to make fun of my situation. Which I can totally do, because I'm starting to clear the second stage: Anger.

Once the news hashad a chance to sink in and the dust settles, the first reaction to getting exiled from Cubicle Town is to feel angry. It's so easy to blame everyone... your boss, your peers, yourself. Everybody screwed up and that's why you're out on your ass, right? Wrong! I have thought all the thoughts that have passed through the minds of everyone else in these shoes. "If I had just worked a little harder..." "My boss/coworkers must not have really like me..." "I should have gone in earlier or stayed later more often, maybe skipped some lunches..." NO! If you're reading this and you're thinking that, I am e-slapping your hand right now.

Ok. Sorry for hitting you. It's normal to feel anger and guilt when you're treated less than humanely. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate all the human resources efforts to take the sting out, but none of it matters. No matter which way you slice it, it's humiliating, every single time. Nothing worse than that walk of shame out of the building, having to face your ex coworkers while carrying a box of shit that you'll just probably throw in a dumpster anyway.

It's not your fault. Even businessy dudes say it's not your fault, look! It just happens. A lot. It's business, not personal. I can't really say it any better than the Forbes open letter did. The point is that it's important to get past the guilt and the anger. But it's also important to harness that rage so you can channel it into something constructive. You will, as soon as you start to enter the Third Stage of Downsizing, which I will talk about tomorrow.

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